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Authors: William Clarke, PhD, Lori J. Sokoll, PhD Last modified: October 24, 2001
  • Prolactin can be elevated by many factors including renal failure, hypothyroidism, stress, heavy exercise, eating, or chest wall trauma
  • A wide variety of drugs can elevate prolactin including phenothiazines, opiates, metoclopramide, methyl-dopa, and tricyclic antidepressants
  • Dopamine and dopamine analogs such as bromocriptine can cause decreased prolactin secretion
  • Due to the wide variety of factors that can affect prolactin concentration, two or three specimens should be obtained at different times to assess prolactinemia in a patient
  • Reference intervals for prolactin are assay dependent and can vary slightly between laboratories
  1. Demers LM ;  Pituitary Function ;  Burtis CA and Ashwood ER (eds.): Tietz Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry, 5th ed., Ch. 39, Philadelphia, PA, WB Saunders, 2001.

  2. Howanitz JH and Henry JB ;  Evaluation of Endocrine Function ;  Henry JB (ed.): Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods, 20th ed., Ch. 16, Philadelphia, PA, WB Saunders, 2001.

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